6 Clean-Out-the-Fridge Meals to Make Before Vacation

No waste, all taste.

Related To:

FRENCH TOAST, Robert Irvine, Dinner: Impossible/Groundhog Daze, Food Network, Cinnamon, Nutmeg, Sugar, Butter, Eggs, Milk, Vanilla Extract, Challah, Brioche, or White Bread, Maple Syrup,FRENCH TOAST, Robert Irvine, Dinner: Impossible/Groundhog Daze, Food Network, Cinnamon, Nutmeg, Sugar, Butter, Eggs, Milk, Vanilla Extract, Challah, Brioche, or White Bread, Maple Syrup

Photo by: Matt Armendariz ©2014, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved.

Matt Armendariz, 2014, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved.

Before leaving for summer vacation, there are a few steps everyone must take: Packing, re-packing (we know you forgot something the first time) and cleaning out the refrigerator. After all, who wants to come home to a kitchen full of smelly, expired goods? That’s why we rounded up the best fridge-cleaning recipes to make before you travel — they’re ideal for using up fresh veggies, milk and other perishable groceries. Happy travels!

When I was a kid, French toast for dinner was pretty much a given on the night before vacation. Why? It uses up all the bread, milk and eggs left hanging out in the fridge — and it tastes pretty darn good. Give Robert’s five-star recipe a try and see for yourself.

Have a few veggies kicking around the fridge? Put them to work with Ree’s spicy stir fry. Though her recipe is vegetarian, there’s no reason you can’t throw in some chicken, beef or shrimp as well.

Photo by: Matt Armendariz ©2014, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved

Matt Armendariz, 2014, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved

Salads are a great way to clean out the odds and ends in your refrigerator. To make the most of your summer produce, chop it up, layer in a pretty bowl and enjoy your tasteful (not wasteful) pre-vacation meal.

So, you already cleared your fridge to the bare bones. No worries — Sunny’s pasta is here for you. The only cold items you need are frozen peas, pancetta (or bacon) and grated Parmesan. Plus, the whole meal is ready in less than 30 minutes!

Gazpacho

Gazpacho

Gazpacho

The name says it all with Ree's convenient gazpacho. She purees the best summer produce (strawberries, tomatoes, cucumber and bell pepper) to make a quick and easy soup, then toasts a side of bread for serving. Gazpacho is meant to be served cold, so feel free to make in advance and chill until you’re ready to eat.

Food Network Kitchen’s Cheesecake-Stuffed Blueberry Muffin, as seen on Food Network.

Photo by: Tara Donne

Tara Donne

What’s not to love about these decadent muffins? Not only are they great as both breakfast and dessert, but the recipe includes all the items you’ll want to use up before vacation (like milk, eggs, cream cheese and sour cream). Bonus: these creamy, fruit-filled muffins make a great travel snack!

Related Links:

Keep Reading

Next Up

Last Call: 6 Things You Have to Make Before Summer’s Over

Check out these six must-make recipes to add to your summer to-do list.

Bending the Rules on Summer Vacation

Since we're on vacation, we are bending the rules. Find out how we spent our summer vacation and browse through photos.

Heading Off on Vacation? Don't Forget to Pack These Food-Focused Books

Even when we're out of the kitchen, our minds never wander far from delicious dishes, and we like our literature the way we like our pantry: overflowing with mouthwatering food.

It's Slaw Good: 6 Must-Make Summertime Slaws — Summer Soiree

These six crunchy, tangy coleslaw favorites are must-haves for this summer's outdoor cookouts, barbecues and picnics.

How to Indulge on Vacation Without Losing Sight of Healthy Habits: Melissa's Bare-Minimum Plan

Hear from Melissa as she shares her five-part plan for keeping indulgences in check while balancing her tried-and-true healthy routines.

5 Must-Haves for a Healthy Summer Fridge

Here are my top five food items to add to your healthy and lean fridge this summer.

Out Cold: Summer Popsicle Fun

Serve dessert from one of these fun new ice pop molds featured in Food Network Magazine.

6 Ways to Celebrate Tomato Time

Plump and juicy tomatoes aren't just a summertime seduction, they've got nutrition credentials as well.

POLL: How Do You Chill Out?

With so many opinions about exactly how to use ice in beverages, Food Network Magazine editors want your thoughts.

8 Juicy Ways to Eat Peaches Before They're Gone — Summer Soiree

We wait all year to bite into juicy peaches, and now is the time they're at their peak, just waiting for you to take them home by the truckload.